Graham and I received some excellent advice lately about delighting customers. It really got us thinking about what we could do in our business to delight our customers.
Before I share it with you, I want you to take a moment to think about your last retail shopping experience and then answer the following questions:
- Have you shopped there before?
- What was the service like?
- Would you recommend the store to others? Why?
- Did you tell or want to tell anyone about the experience?
Thinking back to my last shopping expedition, nothing out of the ordinary happened. Graham and I went to an office supplies store (great range of goods), a local chemist (looking for a particular item), a local supermarket (convenient to home) and a local bakery (quality products). We’ve shopped in all of those places before. The service ranged from non-existent (nobody approached us in chemist, blank space on shelf, we left) to average (bored teenager serving in the bakery, indifferent supermarket checkout assistant) to mildly annoying (teenager moving goods to his side of wide counter and leaving them there for us to gather). All in all, it was a typical shopping expedition. I’d recommend the bakery to others living nearby, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to tell anyone about today’s experience.
Last week, Graham and I were in Sydney, attending a couple of trade shows. At one of the trade shows, we were fortunate enough to hear Debra Templar speak on the subject of “Shoppertainment”. Her whole seminar was inspiring but one thing in particular stood out for me. Debra talked about attracting and keeping customers by giving them “unexpected delight”. That really hit a chord for me, particularly given our business name, Quality Price Service Importers. For us, giving our customers quality goods at the right price with outstanding service is our starting point. As far as we are concerned, our customers shouldn’t be surprised to get great service or pleased when the products they buy from us work. Debra really got me thinking. How could we give our customers “unexpected delight”?
The first thing that I realised was that an unexpected delight can turn into an expected delight which then becomes taken for granted over time. For example, the hairdressing salon I patronise gives me a “complimentary colour treatment” every time I get my hair coloured there. While I thought it was a lovely gesture the first time, when I didn’t expect it, I now think of it as “built into the price” rather than “complimentary”.
The second thing I realised was that the delight didn’t have to be something that I took away with me. Occasionally, I’ve been offered a glass of champagne at the hairdressers. I’ve never accepted it because I drive there, but I love being offered it. It makes me feel like a special customer, partly because it only happens once in a while.
The third thing I realised was that a delight doesn’t have to be expensive. Whenever we buy meat at one particular butcher shop, Graham’s face lights up as he takes a lollipop from the basket on the counter.
Debra had lots of fun ideas for retailers on how to give customers unexpected delight. For example, they could pop a discount voucher for future purchases into the bag as a thank you when customers made a purchase. I know this works. We were pleased to be given a discount card on leaving a restaurant one night a few years ago because “you’ve been such lovely customers”. We weren’t able to use the card at the time as it expired before we were back in Sydney, however, every time we go there for a trade show we go to Tony Roma’s for dinner one night.
While the idea of “unexpected delight” is what hit a chord with me, the more I’ve thought about it the more I’ve realised that the important thing is to delight the customers. The unexpectedness simply adds to the customer’s feeling of delight.
As a result, we’ve decided to aim to achieve more than the quality, price and service of our business name. We’re making it company policy to delight our customers.